Burma Star veteran George Bastone from Beer and Beryl Lobb from St Austell have been celebrating their 100th birthdays, despite the coronavirus lockdown.

George Bastone celebrates his big birthday under the flag of St George on the patron saint's day Credit: Beer Memories

George Bastone is the village of Beer’s oldest resident and served in the Devonshire Regiment in Burma during the Second World War. Villagers had planned a big day to honour him but were unable to because of the restrictions.

They still managed to do him proud, while respecting social distancing.

Villagers line the street - two metres apart - to salute one of their own. Credit: Beer Memories

Today Beer celebrates our own centenarian, George Bastone. At 11.00 am the village people are going to stand outside their own front doors and sing happy birthday to him, then at 11.30 a family member is going to drive around the village with George so we can give Beer's finest gentleman the biggest cheer. This wasn’t the day that was planned but we are still so proud to celebrate with George.

Beverley Giles
  • Watch 100-year-old George Bastone get the biggest cheer of his long life as he takes a taxi tour of his village

Video courtesy Beverley Giles

The Devon village has also had to postpone the opening of its tribute to residents who served in the First World War. The Beer Memorial Avenue was due to be officially unveiled today but that has had to be put off because of the pandemic.

Centenarian Beryl Lobb has received more than 100 birthday cards thanks to the kindness of people in St Austell. Credit: Caprera Residential Care Home

23 April 2020 is also the 100th birthday of a Cornish woman, Beryl Lobb, who lives at Caprera Residential Care Home in St Austell.

The care team at the home had hoped to mark Beryl's milestone with a tea party but, due to the lockdown, those plans were cancelled. Instead the staff put a call out for birthday cards on social media and were inundated with 103 cards, including a telegram from the Queen.

The 100-year-old says she feels exactly the same.

No different. If you said I was 53, I’d say good and that would be it. It doesn't make much difference, it doesn't affect me.

Beryl Lobb

Beryl is a widow but keeps in touch with members of her husband's family. When one of the carers, Sarah Jewell, found out that they wouldn't be able to visit, she reached out to the local community in St Austell.

I feel that Beryl deserves the best for her 100th birthday. Before Beryl moved into the care home she was a well-known character in the local area and I just didn't want people to forget about her.

Sarah Jewell, Carer